BJP for federal investigation agency provided POTA is brought back

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New Delhi, May 18 (UNI) Alleging that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his government is not serious in fighting terrorism, the BJP today said it was willing to discuss the Prime Minister's suggestion to create a federal agency to investigate terrorist crimes if the UPA government is willing to come out with a strong POTA like anti-terror legislation.

BJP General Secretary and former Law Minister in the NDA government Arun Jaitley in a statement said the country not only requires an investigation agency but anti-terrorist laws be made more effective and POTA be re-introduced.

Mr Jaitley said it was ironical that after being in office for four years, the Prime Minister had finally woken up to the fact that prevention and investigation of terrorism in India is on the verge of collapse.

He said it was the Congress ruled states which opposed the creation of a federal agency whenever the Home Ministry mooted the suggestion. The Prime Minister, his party and the government had consistently opposed a strong anti-terror law. The government had a 'scandelous record' of misusing the CBI for political purposes during the last four years, he asserted.

The Centre had delayed Presidential assent for a strong anti-terror law for the BJP ruled governments in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh while such laws were operational in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The consequences were the serial blast cases in Bombay and Malegoan, which will be investigated under MCOCA laws.

On the contrary, the accused in the Jaipur serial blasts, which claimed over 60 lives, will be investigated under ordinary laws, he said.

''The UPA government's record of fighting terror was under suspicion after its pleading before the Supreme Court that it was entitled to withdraw cases registered under POTA against the perpetrators of burning the Sabarmati Express in Godhra without any judicial scrutiny,'' Mr Jaitley said.

He said it was the Centre's responsibility to check inter-state crimes and cross-border terrorism having national and international ramifications and said the government had Legislative and Executive powers to introduce and to enact laws in this matter. UNI MCN BDP RN1702

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